an open-source digital signal processing and sound synthesis language
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rtcmix~

RTcmix is a complete sound synthesis and signal processing language, including a robust scheduler and large set of pre-compiled "instruments". The rtcmix~ object completely encapsulates RTcmix within the Max/MSP and Pure Data real-time music environments.

Installation Instructions for Max 7 and 8

macOS

  1. Download rtcmix~.
  2. Unpack the archive.
  3. Move the entire "RTcmix-2.01" folder intact to the directory "/Users/Sharer/Max 7/Library/" or "/Users/Sharer/Max 8/Library/" folder.
  4. Start (or restart) Max/MSP. [rtcmix~] should be working.

Note: If you are installing [rtcmix~] on macOS machines running Catalina (10.15.x) or later, you will probably get the Apple 'gatekeeper' message about the library/application not able to run because it isn't from a 'signed developer'. One of these days We'll wade through the impenetrable documentation about how to do this, but for now you can follow the instructions here to get it going.

Windows 10

  1. Download rtcmix~.
  2. Unpack the archive.
  3. Move the entire "rtcmix~-for-windows-maxmsp" folder intact to your "Documents\Max 7\Library\" or your "Documents\Max 8\Library\" folder.
  4. Move the "pthreadVC2.dll" file to the main "C:\Program Files\Cycling '74\Max 7\" or "C:\Program Files\Cycling '74\Max 8\" folder.
  5. Start (or restart) Max/MSP. [rtcmix~] should be working.

Note on editing scorefiles on Windows: You can use an external editor to create [rtcmix~] scorefiles. However, be sure that the editor can write "unix" or "OSX" line endings, not Windows line endings. Windows uses a combination carriage-return/line-feed scheme that will cause the RTcmix parser to crash.

Older versions are available in the archives.

Installation Instructions for Pure Data

macOS

  1. Download rtcmix~.
  2. Unpack the archive.
  3. Inside the "rtcmix~-for-pd" folder is an "rtcmix~" folder. Copy/move that entire folder intact to your "Documents/pd/externals" folder.
  4. Start (or restart) Pd. [rtcmix~] should be working.

Note: If you are installing [rtcmix~] on macOS machines running Catalina (10.15.x) or later, you will probably get the Apple 'gatekeeper' message about the library/application not able to run because it isn't from a 'signed developer'. One of these days We'll wade through the impenetrable documentation about how to do this, but for now you can follow the instructions here to get it going.

Note on editing scorefiles on macOS: At present, scorefile information is not stored with the pd patch when it is saved. You will need to use the [open] message to load an existing scorefile into [rtcmix~], and be sure to use a [save]/[saveas] message to store a scorefile that has been modified within pd.

To modify a scorefile within pd, click on the [rtcmix~] object in a locked (i.e. editing off) pd patcher. This will open an editor on the current [rtcmix~] script. If the script has not been loaded with an [open] message, [rtcmix~] will create a temporary file for editing. BE CERTAIN TO SAVE THIS using the [save]/[saveas] message before exiting pd, or the work will be lost.

In this version, the ability to select a particular editor using the [editor] message does not function on OSX.

Windows 10

  1. Download rtcmix~.
  2. Unpack the archive.
  3. Move the entire "rtcmix~" folder intact to your "Documents\Pd\externals\" folder.
  4. Move the "pthreadVC2.dll" file to the main "C:\Program Files\Pd\bin\" folder.
  5. Start (or restart) Max/MSP. [rtcmix~] should be working.

Note on editing scorefiles on Windows: At present, scorefile information is not stored with the pd patch when it is saved. You will need to use the [open] message to load an existing scorefile into [rtcmix~], and be sure to use a [save]/[saveas] message to store a scorefile that has been modified within pd.

To modify a scorefile within pd, click on the [rtcmix~] object in a locked (i.e. editing off) pd patcher. This will open an editor on the current [rtcmix~] script. If the script has not been loaded with an [open] message, [rtcmix~] will create a temporary file for editing. BE CERTAIN TO SAVE THIS using the [save]/[saveas] message before exiting pd, or the work will be lost.

The [rtcmix~] here comes configured to use the popular "Notepad++" editor (https://notepad-plus-plus.org/). The configuration assumes that the editor is stored in the default location "C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe".

You can use an alternative editor and set [rtcmix~] to invoke it using the [editor] message. The [editor] message takes one argument: the pathname to the editor program. This pathname has to be specified using unix-like directory separators. For example, an editor located at "C:\Program Files\thebest\editor.exe" would be set by sending the message:

	[editor C:/Program\ Files/thebest/editor.exe]
to an [rtcmix~] object (note the escape (\ ) of the space in the pathname, too). Sending this message to a single [rtcmix~] object will set it as the default for all [rtcmix~] objects in a given pd session. The message will need to be resent if pd is restarted.

You can also use an external editor to create [rtcmix~] scorefiles. However, be sure that any alternative editors you use can write "unix" or "OSX" line endings, not Windows line endings (Notepad++ can do this, but the plain Notepad that comes with Windows cannot). Native Windows text files use a combination carriage-return/line-feed scheme that will cause the RTcmix parser to crash.

Features

  • The rtcmix~ object can load, parse and run existing RTcmix scorefiles. A set of internal buffers and buffer-editing routines are included with the object.

  • A large set of mathematical and data-manipulation/storage routines are available with the rtcmix~ object, including the ability to define and use arbitrary new operations.

  • rtcmix~ enables the Max/MSP user to write procedural code for particular algorithmic operations. For example, a valid RTcmix script executing in the rtcmix~ object might be something like:
  • Approximately 120 existing RTcmix synthesis and signal-processing instruments are currently accessible in the rtcmix~ object, including a set of FFT/PVOC-based spectral manipulation tools, real-time Linear Prediction Coding (LPC) analysis/resynthesis, and most of the Synthesis ToolKit (STK) physical models created by Perry Cook and Gary Scavone.
  • 	for (time = 0; time < 14.9; time = time + 0.35) {
    		USE_AN_INSTRUMENT(time, p1, p2, p3...)
    	}
  • In a similar fashion, the rtcmix~ object can schedule Max/MSP messages and events. The following rtcmix~ script will produce 100 'bangs' randomly spaced in a 7-second interval:
    	for (i = 0; i < 100; i = i+1) {
    		bangtime = irand(0.0, 7.0)
    		MAXBANG(bangtime)
    	}
  • rtcmix~ provides an easy framework for linkage between Max/MSP and arbitrary C/C++ functions and objects, including separately-compiled mach-o C/C++ code.

Final Words on This Web Page

RTcmix was originally written by Brad Garton and Dave Topper, adding real-time capabilities to the cmix music-programming language developed by Paul Lansky. John Gibson, Doug Scott (and others) added significant extensions to the package.

The rtcmix~ object was written by Brad Garton with much advice and assistance from Dan Trueman and Luke DuBois (Dan wrote the internal buffer script-editing code). Joshua Kit Clayton was an invaluable resource, as always. Thanks guys!

I hope this may be useful for others; I'm having a blast with it. Let me know what you think!

Brad Garton